Gophers Basketball: 2022-23 Roster Preview

Oct. 7, 2022: With only 31 days until tip-off and a Gophers football bye week, I thought there is no time better than the present to preview the Gophers’ 2022-23 basketball season.

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PG: Ta’Lon Cooper

  • Projected season stats: 9.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 4.9 APG
  • Projected playing time: 34.1 MPG

Morehead State transfer Ta’Lon Cooper was one of Ben Johnson and the Gophers’ biggest additions from the transfer portal. The 6-foot-4 guard will provide Minnesota with much-needed leadership at the point guard position. After averaging 9.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists last season for a 23-win Eagles, Cooper is likely in-line for a very similar role this season. He fits as the perfect PG on this team that has the chance to score 8-15 points a night and will be a great facilitator for players like Jamison Battle and Dawson Garcia.

SG: Taurus Samuels

  • Projected season stats: 6.1 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 2.3 APG
  • Projected playing time: 27.1 MPG

Dartmouth transfer Taurus Samuels was the Gophers’ third and final addition from the portal in the offseason. Listed at 6 feet tall, Samuels will likely act as the vocal leader on-court leader that this team needs. With three real seasons (IVY league missed 2020 COVID year) of playing experience, he is the most veteran presence on this team. He will likely not stuff the state sheet most nights, but he fits a role this roster needs. There is a chance we see Braedon Carrington develop into the second guard that closes out games this season, but I expect Samuels to get the starting nod for most of the season.

SF: Jamison Battle

  • Projected season stats: 18.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.3 APG
  • Projected playing time: 36.5 MPG

Jamison Battle is one of two returning players from last season’s squad. After averaging a team-high 17.5 points per game last season, he was named to the preseason All-Big Ten First-Team. He should be one of the best players in the conference again this season. This team will likely start and end with Battle and Dawson Garcia. With only two years of eligibility remaining, Gophers fans should enjoy Jamison Battle when they can.

PF: Treyton Thompson

  • Projected season stats: 5.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 0.9 APG
  • Projected playing time: 26.4 MPG

The four/five position is the most wide-open on this team. Before Parker Fox and Isaiah Ihnen’s season-ending injuries, they were likely expected to play this role. Now it’s down to true sophomore Treyton Thompson and true freshman Pharell Payne.

Listed as the tallest player on the team (7-foot), he might seem like a five, but physically I think Thompson is a natural four. He flashed last season with 10 points and six rebounds in a 40-minute performance against Rutgers in January. He has one of the highest ceilings on this team and I expect him to have every opportunity to prove that this season, but I expect true freshman Pharell Payne will be nipping at his heels all season.

This position will be the x-factor of the Gophers’ season. If Thompson or Payne emerges as a double-double threat this season, Minnesota’s ceiling rises dramatically.

C: Dawson Garcia

  • Projected season stats: 18.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.9 APG
  • Projected playing time: 33.1 MPG

Most Gophers fans recognize Dawson Garcia’s name from his days at Prior Lake High School where he was one of the best prep players in the state. He returns to Minnesota after a roller coaster two-year journey at Marquette and North Carolina. Due to some off-court issues, he hasn’t been able to string together consistent play, but his 26-point 8-rebound game last season against Purdue proves that he is a legitimate NBA-level player. He technically has three seasons of eligibility left, so I would recommend Gophers fans enjoy Garcia while they can.

6th: Pharell Payne

  • Projected season stats: 6.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.6 APG
  • Projected playing time: 20.2 MPG

Pharell Payne has been the talk of the Gophers’ preseason. Listed at 6-foot-9, 230 pounds he might be the most physically imposing player on the team. I believe that there will be games that we see him in the starting lineup this season, he is too good for Johnson to keep him on the bench. But, if the Gophers are able to get 11.5 PPG, and 11 RPG between Payne and Thompson combined they will be a MUCH improved team from last season.

7th: Braedon Carrington

  • Projected season stats: 4.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 2.2 APG
  • Projected playing time: 16.3 MPG

Braedon Carrington is another one of the talented incoming freshmen that Coach Johnson will have at his disposal this season. I think a lot of Gophers fans will expect a lot out of Minnesota’s 2022 Mr. Basketball, but it might take a little longer than Payne. With that being said, I think the former Park Center standout will have a major role on this team, it just might not be until a bit later in the season.

8th: Josh Ola-Joseph

  • Projected season stats: 2.1 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.9 APG
  • Projected playing time: 6.3 MPG

Josh Ola-Joseph is the wildcard of the five incoming Gophers freshmen. Listed at 6-foot-7, he is likely the most versatile. While attending open practice in September, he seemed to match up physically with the other players on the team. Ultimately, I think this will be another short rotation for Johnson and the Gophers, with seven players for much of the year. But as the freshman continues to develop, I think Ola-Joseph will be a name to watch out for.


  • Jaden Henley

Incoming freshman Jaden Henley likely has the best chance to care out a role this season out of these four players, but I think it will take a while. According to 247sports, he was the highest-rated player in the Gophers’ class, but he looked young in last month’s open practice.

  • Kadyn Betts

Based on what Coach Johnson has said and the fact that Betts reclassified and is still only 17 years old, I think we won’t be seeing much of him this season and there is a good chance he redshirts.

  • Will Ramberg

Ramberg earned a scholarship earlier this offseason, in a terrific video. He played in a few games last season averaging 3.7 minutes per game. I think the only chance we see him have a serious role this season would be a handful of injuries.

  • (walk-on) Jackson Purcell

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